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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: The Writing on the Wall Daniel 5:1-31
By Philip Barrington


It is said that the saying; “the pen is mightier than the sword;” dates back to the ‘Institution of Christian Prince' However; God had in his known wisdom knew that words and writings would have an impact on people’s lives.

Let us consider for a moment the King Belshazzar. In Daniel Chapter 5; The King was having a great feast and drank wine with a thousand of his lords. The King commanded that the golden and silver vessels be taken out of the temple so that his wives, concubines and his princes can drink out of them. They drank and praised the gods of precious stones and of brass, stone, wood and even Iron.

Could you not imagine the surprise that King Belshazzar experienced? He was having a party; drinking to a thousand of his lords; took the vessels out of his Fathers temple; A hand appears on the wall writing. There would have been the smell of drink. The noise, and interaction that elevated the excitement. Suddenly; a hand writes on the wall. I do not know about you, but I would have been shaking in my boots.

Daniel 5:6. “Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Surprise!

Belshazzar called those that he could to make sense of what was written on the wall. No human inventory power could understand what was written on the wall. The Queen sees the King in distress. She wanted him to live. No doubt she also must have been scared. She has a solution to the problem. She reminded the King that when his father was alive Daniel had wisdom. She goes on to say that he can help now.

Daniel being brought to King Belshazzar is now offered gifts if he could interpret the writing on the wall. These gifts were also offered to the astrologers and soothsayers who could not interpret the writing on the wall. Daniel in his wisdom did not want these gifts. Daniel did not want gifts to be a hindrance in his life. King Belshazzar had no doubt had the wrong treasures.

Daniel begins to tell the king some very important interpretation. “MENE” “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” “TEKEL” “thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting” “PERES” “Thy Kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

In Daniel 5:30 King Belshazzar was slain.

What is mightier; the pen or the sword? One may ask. God did not use a pen, but rather he wrote with his finger on the wall. It is what is written that matters. King Belshazzar needed to get his heart right with God. This was such a powerful message to the King. God knew that the method of getting the message to Belshazzar was to shake him in his boots by writing on the wall. The message of where eternity is spent is more powerful than being slain by a sword. To die without Christ there is no power; only a power of a lost and accelerated wasted life to the wrong side of eternity.

Let us therefore be diligent in writing for the reason; the pen is mightier than the sword in spreading the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

References and story taken from the KJV

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This article has been read 525 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charlotte Maccallum04/15/10
Very good take. I never though of that story in that way.
AnneRene' Capp04/15/10
Great job. Loved the mild humor and yes, I would have been scared stupid! :)

Liked your use of this story for the topic. A literal "hand writing" experience, of God's word and the divine power behind it.
Caitlyn Meissner04/16/10
I think you are right. The pen and the sword are only as great as the person using them. What God wrote on the wall was important for Belshazzar, and an important reminder for us today. Thank you for your article.
Jan Ackerson 04/17/10
Good job--this reads like a sermon.

I noticed a few instances of semicolons used incorrectly; they should separate two independent clauses.

You did a great job with this week's topic.
Glynis Becker04/17/10
Interesting take on the topic. A fascinating Bible story, of course, and yes, I would have been scared as well!!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/17/10
You made a great point, I too felt like it was a sermon. Some of the wording seemed a little awkward, but your passion for the Lord really shines through.